Namibia is Southern Africa’s driest country, with an average of 300 sunny days per year. While this bodes well for sun-seeking tourists looking for perfect weather to indulge in all the adventure activities that Namibia has to offer, there is more to the Namibian climate than endless sunny days and sweeping desert landscapes.
The Caprivi Strip
This evergreen sliver of land is the wettest that Namibia gets, with up to 800mm of rain annually, an average temperature of 35° C and very high humidity during the day. Here, rivers and swamps filled with hippos and crocodiles predominate, attracting many species of birds and animals. At night time, the mercury dips to around the 20° C, while the dry winter months from June to August bring temperatures as low as 1° C at times.
Climate change and the recent drought in Namibia have had a negative effect on this ecosystem, with many animals migrating to greener pastures, and some rivers and pools drying up totally.
Central highlands around Windhoek
The central highlands are found sandwiched between the Kalahari Desert in the east and the Namib Desert in the west. The climate in this high-lying strip is relatively moderate with about 370mm of rain falling in the spring and summer months (October to May), and temperatures between at 20° C and 30° C.
Winters are dry and cool with temperatures hovering between 17° C and 7° C. There is usually minimal rainfall between June and September, but frost does occur on occasion.
This has been one of the areas hardest hit by the drought and water restrictions have been in place in Windhoek since December 2015. Etosha National Park has a similar climate to the central highlands and animal populations have been greatly affected by the drought.
Namib and Kalahari Desert
The desert areas of Namibia experience little to no rainfall, extreme temperatures and almost no humidity. The summer heat is intense with up 50°C during the day, while winter evenings often reach freezing point. Winter days are mild and pleasant with temperatures in the region of 20° C to 25° C.
The Skeleton Coast
The Namibian coastline has a unique climate with little rainfall and a lingering blanket of fog for up to 200 days a year. Cold and windy conditions are common along the Atlantic Coast and the water temperature rarely rises above 19° C.
Despite the climatic challenges it faces; Namibia remains a fascinating and diverse country to explore and enjoy.